Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated July 28, 2020] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three new ship-based weapons being developed by the Navy--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the gun-launched guided projectile (GLGP), also known as the hypervelocity projectile (HVP)--that could substantially improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against surface craft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and eventually anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs). Any one of these three new weapons, if successfully developed and deployed, might be regarded as a 'game changer' for defending Navy surface ships against enemy missiles and UAVs. If two or three of them are successfully developed and deployed, the result might be considered not just a game changer, but a revolution. Rarely has the Navy had so many potential new types of surface-ship air-defense weapons simultaneously available for development and potential deployment. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's acquisition strategies and funding requests for these three potential new weapons. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect future Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the defense industrial base. This report supersedes an earlier CRS [Congressional Research Service] report that provided an introduction to potential Navy shipboard lasers."
CRS Report for Congress, R44175
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/